It’s your business…. Do you “Do” it?

By David Elenbaum

March 12, 2012 | What do you “do”? Do you “do” windows? Do you “do” stone work? Perhaps you “do” siding. I know that if you are reading this, it is likely that you “do” decks. I for one like to eliminate “do” from my verbiage in marketing. I say I build decks in conversation but my business card says that I am a “full service deck design and construction firm.” Why? Professionalism. I can go to any market in the US and it is likely that I can find a guy who “Does” something according to his advertising. He is also likely the guy who writes his quote on the back of a business card. If you are that guy, in your mark

Now for the matter of “doing” everything. Do you? How diverse is your product portfolio? If you find yourself running to leads that cover a large varied group of products and you are operating under a deck company you may want to consider a revision in your company story. Perhaps you would want to look at being a general contractor. In some cases, you may want to refine your offerings and focus on the things that make you the most profits. If your company “Dude’s Decks” is installing windows and siding, consider a branch off company called “Dude’s siding and windows”. Your prospects will be less confused about what you “do” and you will see better qualified leads from your advertising as a result. You can set up an advertising accrual on each business so you will know if window ad money is getting you window leads and deck ad money is getting you decking leads. Set up a separate phone number with a tracker to get the results you need.

You can still co-market the businesses together if you like but diversifying the advertising into the appropriate marketing is now an option for you. Deck buyers may be in a different demographic than window buyers for you, so the difference between a newspaper ad and a retirement magazine. On the administrative side, separating the entities will help with seeing profitability, crew allocations, and workers comp audits will be easier since a siding crew is charged at a different rate then a deck crew in many cases. Also, the really cool part is if your siding business grows well enough to sell, you can sell it and still be in the deck business. Good luck and thanks for reading. You can email thoughts and comments to davidelenbaum@gmail.com.

Ever Heard Of Him?

February 6, 2012 | That is what you are hoping the neighbors are saying about you when they show off their new deck. The concept of “Keeping up with the Jones’” is the best pipeline for leads in this business. People are proud of their home improvement projects and they like to show them off. Your hopes are that when they are showing off their latest huge investment and boasting about the latest craze in products that they got, they drop your name in the process. Referrals are bar none the least expensive and most valuable lead source in the business. They are virtually free and if it’s done right, you just have to take an order. So how do you harvest this land of milk and honey?

Start with vicious networking. Figure out ways to get in front of your customers friends and neighbors. One way might be to take a few minutes during the build and stop by the houses in the immediate area. Knock on the door, introduce yourself and let them know that your crew is the one working at that house. Show them a picture of what you are building and ask if they have any questions or comments about the workers or anything else. Remember to feel out your customer to see if things like this will be okay. Some people lead very private lives and don’t want the neighbors knowing what they are doing. Another great way to get some easy referrals from a sweet deck project is to throw a grand opening party for your customer. Ask them to invite their friends over for a show off BBQ. You can bring the provisions and run the grill for them or have it catered in. Considering the cost of around $10 a head for some hamburgers, you will get some great prospect conversations and most likely a solid lead.

Continue reading “Ever Heard Of Him?”

Legacy & NADRA Partner With Constant Contact

Solution Provider Program Delivers Effective and Affordable Online Marketing Tools to Win Customers and Build Strong, Lasting Relationships

January 10, 2012 – Quakertown, PA | Legacy Services, LLC today announced it has joined the Constant Contact Partner Program as a Solution Provider Partner. Legacy Services, LLC will now be able to provide NADRA members with easy-to-use email marketing, social media management, online surveys, and event marketing tools to help members create and build strong, lasting customer relationships.

“It’s a small step to assist members with the overwhelming task of email marketing and social media management… it’s a new benefit of being a member of NADRA. All current members will receive up to a 25% discount. Members now have their very own eMarketing Dream Team! … right at their finger tips!” said Heather Beaudry, NADRA’s National Program Coordinator. “The Constant Contact online marketing tools give our members a valuable addition to our core services. Because of the tools’ ease-of-use and affordability, membership in the Constant Contact partner program provided a great solution to meet NADRA members’ eMarketing needs.”

Legacy Services, LLC will now offer NADRA members up to a 25% discount to use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools, which are specially designed to help small businesses and organizations drive participation and strengthen relationships. These tools include:

  • Email Marketing for quickly creating professional-looking emails, managing contact lists, measuring campaign results, and reviewing new list members
  • Social Media Marketing for turning fans, friends, and followers into customers. Harnessing digital word of mouth from Facebook, retweeting offers on Twitter, or posting a review on Yelp keeps the conversation going and generates a powerful buzz for small business
  • Event Marketing for efficiently promoting and managing registrations and RSVPs for meetings, functions, seminars, and events
  • Online Survey for gathering feedback that helps meet customer needs, generate new ideas, and help grow a business or organization
  • Continue reading “Legacy & NADRA Partner With Constant Contact”

    The Importance of Emotional Subtlety

     

     
    July 20, 2011 | A few days ago I was consulting by phone with a BroadsOnBusiness.com member.

    A husband and wife run a roofing business. After the last “meeting,” they had sent me examples of their direct mail pieces. It was left to me to tell them gently that these pieces screamed. Fortunately, they took it very well. The husband told me that the reason they sent me their materials to critique in the first place was that they suspected they weren’t nearly so professional as they could be.

    One of my observations was that they said every single thing they did on every single mailing, which I stated was telling too much at one time (in one place) and creating confusion. If someone sees how many services you provide, what’s to stop them from worrying about where you’re more or less expert?

    Certainly it’s important for your clients to know everything you do, but that’s over a period of time, not shouted out during first or early encounters. In this case it was rather obvious why the mailings were missing the mark.

    Continue reading “The Importance of Emotional Subtlety”

    Marketing Small

     

     
    July 12, 2011 | All too often I hear people say they don’t have the money to market. That’s because there’s an overwhelming marketplace perception that marketing and media advertising are the same thing.

    Not so. Advertising can be a part of your Marketing Plan, but marketing isn’t just advertising.

    In marketing it’s not what you spend, it’s how you spend it. Unfortunately, most people don’t spend their marketing budgets of money, people and time wisely.

    For example, here in Fort Collins, CO (pop. approx. 135,000), an average breakfast for two costs $25.00; an average lunch, $35.00. Do two of each per month, and you’ll spend $120.00, for which you probably can’t purchase an ad (and who wants to buy just one ad, anyway?).

    In busy season, you might wish to limit yourself to early breakfasts before the workday begins. That will drive the cost lower. So will coffees instead of meals. It’s all about establishing the priority for one-on-one face-to-face encounters.

    Continue reading “Marketing Small”

    Burdening People with Information They Don’t Need

     

     
    July 5, 2011 | If people buy from us based on the emotional considerations of confidence, comfort level and trust, why are we so eager to say things that will erode those qualities and our chances of ongoing relationships?

    Let’s start with your new hire. The first thing to teach him or her is not to reveal how short a time they’ve been with you.

    Someone calls with a question and gets the answer, “I don’t know; I just started working here last week.” Now what in blazes does that do to get the question answered and provide good customer service?

    Better answer, “That’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. If you’ll give me until tomorrow, though, I’ll find out and call you back.”

    Undelivered promises like this are so prevalent that, when your new employee does call back on schedule with the answer, he/she gets a “Wow!” What a marketing opportunity! What did this cost in money and time to do what you said you would?

    On the rare chance that someone will ask your employee how long he’s been with your company, educate him/her to say, “A while.” A while can be as little as three seconds, but the person asking won’t know that!

    For subs: when they’re working for you, they’re working for you. Your company shirt, your business card with their name. For that project, they agree to be representing your company. None of this, “Well, you see, I don’t really work for him; he just brought me in to . . .” Huh-uh. You want to appear as if you have more people whom you train and supervise, not someone you brought in to help out because your staff is bare-boned and you were slammed. Quality control doubts suddenly appear.

    Someone once said, “The devil is in the details.” I say, “Marketing is the little things.” Tend to them to create and maintain your best image and impressions in the marketplace.

    Coming Soon: Marketing Webinars For NADRA Members

     

     
    June 29, 2011 | If someone were to ask you about your company’s marketing, how would you answer?

         “It works great!”
         “I’m totally frustrated about the money we’ve wasted on marketing.”
         “I know I need to market, but I don’t know where to begin!”

    Regardless of how you’d answer, we can help you make your marketing dollars absolutely sing! Adrienne Zoble, whom many of you have heard at Deck Expos, will give you ideas that you can implement immediately.

    Little time, next to no dollars.

    Stay tuned. Details to follow.

    Leveraging Your Client Base

     

     
    June 29, 2011 | How much do you know about your clients? Their hobbies? The organizations they belong to? Their favorite sports or vacation spots?

    Over the years I’ve observed that business owners learn very little about their clients/customers. Oh sure, they know a bit about what they do, their names and addresses, how to reach them by phone or email, maybe even their websites.

    That information is simply the tip of the iceberg, however. Each of your clients is a potential advocate (someone who’s referred you more than once and/or says terrific things about you at the drop of a hat). Each of your clients can save you significant marketing dollars, by leading business your way. And I’m not just talking about referrals.

    I’m talking about exposure.

    Who can you meet through your clients, because you’ve learned the circles they move in?

    Can you be their guest at a professional society (organizations for those in private practice) or trade meeting? Or a vendor at a fundraiser where they’re actively involved? How about a few rounds of golf at their country club? Tennis, anyone? Sporting events?

    Business owners covet generating business from doctors, for example, because of their affluence. Knowing this, doctors have become less and less accessible. If your client trusts you, however, and introduces you to medical colleagues, who knows what might happen?

    It’s not always what you know, but whom you know; and it’s quite likely that you know many important people. What are you doing about it?

    Continue reading “Leveraging Your Client Base”

    An Easy Way to Generate Referrals

     

     
    June 20, 2011 | As a deck builder or supplier, you probably receive a fair amount of calls asking for the name of a good roofer, plumber or someone else in some aspect of construction.

    You may take these calls in one of two ways:

      1. as pains in the neck or
      2. as opportunities for referrals

    It depends upon whether your glass is half empty or half full.

    First of all, these calls are compliments. You’re being recognized as a go-to person, whose advice is trustworthy. You can’t earn a better reputation than that. Next, once you refer an expert in the requested field, you have a chance to close the loop.

    Close the loop? Sure. Let’s say you recommend roofer Charles Smith. Do you simply give his name and number; or do you do that with one more step, which is calling Charles Smith to say you just referred him? “Hey, Charlie, just got a call from a Ms. Jones, who wanted the name of a good roofer; and I gave her your name. If you don’t hear from her in a week, let me know; and I’ll give you her phone number.”

    All you did was refer someone you believe in. By letting him (or her) know, however, or closing the loop, you communicated to Charlie that you’re actively referring him.

    Which means, at the first opportunity, he’ll probably return the favor. Easy, huh? What did it cost you in money and time? Nothing and perhaps two minutes, right? But you just engaged in some of the best marketing there is, by putting out a marker that will be repaid. Perhaps over and over again.

    Adrienne Zoble Associates, Inc.
    Helping Business Owners and Executives Sell More In Less Time
    Visit www.broadsonbusiness.com to learn how to market consistently, yet inexpensively.
    azoble@azobleassoc.com
    (ph) 970-282-1150 (or toll-free at 1-866-282-1150)
    (f) 970-282-1152

    Make Your Customers Happier By Charging Them More

    July 7, 2010 | It is possible to make your customers and yourself happier by charging more. I’m not talking about charging more for the same thing you already do or more than what other contractors charge for the same thing. I’m encouraging you to incorporate as a standard a consistent line of products that are in the mid to higher end range that offer true long term performance. I’m suggesting a way to lower your warranty cost by 80% or more, extending your customer referral base and being able to show prospects a deck project that’s 3-5 years old that looks better than your competitions 1 year old deck. I’m talking about a way to increase your annual dollar production and profit with the same number of employees or subs that you currently have. I’m talking about selling value, performance, and delivering work you can feel good about.

    Continue reading “Make Your Customers Happier By Charging Them More”